Survey Explores What Makes Young People Happy

What makes people between the ages of 13 and 24 happy? Spending time with family was the top answer, according to an extensive survey by The Associated Press and MTV on the nature of happiness among America's young people.

Next was spending time with friends, followed by time with a significant other. Nearly three-quarters of young people say their relationship with their parents makes them happy.

While most young people are happy overall with their lives, there are racial differences: the poll shows whites to be happier, across economic categories, than blacks and Hispanics. A lot of young people feel stress, particularly those from the middle class, and females more than males.

And sex? Being sexually active actually leads to less happiness among 13-17 year olds, according to the survey.
Close to half say religion and spirituality are very important.

The same poll suggests young Americans are putting their parents at the top of the list of their heroes. 29 percent of those surveyed about who they most admire choose their mothers, 21 percent name their fathers and 16 percent pick their parents without specifying which one. Allowed to choose as many heroes as they'd like, nearly half mention at least one of their folks.

Next in line as the poll's top heroes: 11 percent choose friends, 10 percent God, 8 percent their grandmother, 7 percent their brother and 5 percent a teacher or professor.

Also getting frequent mentions as heroes are members of the U.S. military, firefighters and police officers, as well as boyfriends, sisters, grandfathers and coaches. Two percent choose themselves.

Martin Luther King, the most frequently mentioned historical figure or celebrity, is named by 4 percent.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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